'Year of the Pitcher?' Try 'Year of the Rookie'

Many baseball pundits referred to 2010 as the Year of the Pitcher.

There certainly were a plethora of memorable mound highlights,

including perfect games by Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies and Dallas Braden of the Oakland A's.

Oh, and the perfect game that should have been by Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers.

This marked the first time two perfect games were thrown in the same season.

Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies, Edwin Jackson of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays and Halladay also threw no-hitters. Halladay became the first National Leaguer to throw a no-no in the postseason and only the second pitcher since 1952 to throw two no-hitters in the same season.

The six no-hitters/perfect games were the most since 1991, when there were seven.

Pitchers hurled an incredible 329 shutouts, almost one in seven games, the most in the Major Leagues since 1972.

Runs allowed dropped by 15 percent and home runs declined by 19 percent since the 2000 season.

According to the latest edition of "Dug-Out Trivia," though, written by the veteran Albany Herald copy editor Barry Levine, 2010 should be remembered as the Year of the Rookie and not the Year of the pitcher.

The accomplishments of the top rookies are highlighted is the book.

2010 was the year that Major League Baseball underwent a major transition as young stars injected new life into the national pastime.

This year's edition of "Dug-Out Trivia" consists of more than 280 pages with 570 questions and in-depth answers garnered entirely from the 2010 season. The book contains more than 300 fact boxes as well as midseason and full season individual pitching and offensive stats.

One of the rookies prominently mentioned in the book is catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants.

The Lee County product was a major reason the Giants won their first World Series since 1954.

Not only did Posey sparkle for the Giants, he generated many trivia questions for the book.

Levine's latest book is once again written under his pen name, Jeb H.I. Louis to honor the memory of his late father and his father's five deceased brothers.

"The 'J' is for Jerry, my father, and his brother, Jeff," Levine explained. "The 'H' is for his brothers, Herman and Harry. The 'I' is for his brother, Irving, and the 'L' is for his brother, Louis."

A lifetime Major League Baseball junkie, Levine does not collect baseball memorabilia. He, instead, gathers data that can derive MLB fans batty.

A former member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Levine covered the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies for two decades.

With more than 2,000 baseball reference books in his library, Levine has penned among the most detailed trivia books currently on the market.

Levine has covered some of Major League Baseball's most memorable moments. Among them are:

George Steinbrenner's purchase of the New York Yankees in January 1973 when he insisted he would not be a hands-on owner.

The American League's press conference introducing the designated hitter in 1973.

Chris Chambliss' walk-off homer to end the 1976 American League Championship Series and propel the Yankees into their first World Series in 12 years.

Reggie Jackson's three-homer game in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series to power the Yankees to their first Fall Classic championship in 15 years.

Hall of Famer Tom Seaver notching his 300th victory in 1984 on the same day that the Yankees honored longtime player/announcer Phil Rizzuto.

Levine, however, claims that his biggest thrill in baseball was interviewing some of his boyhood favorites including Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Ted Williams.

"2010 Dug-Out Trivia" can be purchased by sending a check for $19.95 to "Dug-Out Trivia," 3622 Mayfair Lane, Albany, Ga. 31721. The price includes shipping and handling.